Carter-O'Connell campaign sanctioned for election code violation

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Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

The Election Supervisory Board ruled the Isaiah Carter and Sydney O’Connell campaign violated the Election Code by mass distributing unsolicited emails to a group of freshmen before the sanctioned campaign period, according to a resolution released today.

The action was ruled a Class C violation, and the campaign will be sanctioned with a $27.50 fine and a 24-hour moratorium on campaigning, which went into effect Monday night at 11:59 p.m.

The resolution followed a hearing Monday afternoon to address the concerns of complainants economics freshman Eliav Terk, engineering fifth-year Amber Camilleri and Jessica Dorsey, an international relations and global studies freshman. Terk and Dorsey received the original email from Carter’s campaign and said they do not know Carter personally.

Specifically, the campaign violated Section 8.2 of the code by failing to recruit campaign workers on a personal and individual basis. The campaign also violated Section 11-404 of the Institutional Rules on Student Service and Activities, Student Disciplines and Conduct by sending unsolicited messages to student emails acquired during the 2016 summer orientations while Carter was tabling for Student Government.

The resolution said the email addresses were obtained while Carter was working in an official capacity as a SG representative. The emails were gathered for the benefit of Student Government not for the purpose of any one particular campaign or group of campaigns, according to the resolution.

“The role of a Student Government office is separate from that of an individual’s campaign, and a candidate should distance themselves from conflating their office with their personal campaign such that the separation between the two roles is unambiguous,” the resolution reads.

The resolution also determined the Carter-O’Connell campaign had no unfair advantage because all Student Government Executive Alliances had access to the list of emails. The Carter-O’Connell campaign was, however, the only campaign to utilize this email list for campaign purposes.

According to the Election Code, Carter and O’Connell have the right to appeal the ESB’s decision within 24 hours after the decision is announced.